Have you ever had a Fergburger?

If not, why not? The fact that it is only available in Queenstown New Zealand is potentially a barrier, but not an excuse in my opinion…

There is something very special about a Fergburger, well I think there is. It may be the fact you often have to cue up for 40mins just to put your order in, or that you then have to wait up to 30mins for your order to be ready, or the fact that it can be difficult to get a seat in the shop so will have to go and enjoy it on the grass by Queenstown Bay? All these things come together to create a wonderful experience, as wonderful as a burger can be…

Fergburger has many fans all over the world and its often one of the first things mentioned to me by people I have conversations with about the New Zealand South Island, but that maybe me bringing it up in conversation!

But what is it about a particular burger that makes people willing to cue up for some long and shell out $12 (£6.30) for one?

I think scarcity definitely helps, the fact that there is only one Fergburger in the world, you are never going to experience it anywhere else in the world, which these days I suppose is rare.

They have a fairly extensive menu thats is pretty all ranging, beef, chicken, lamb, veggie, fish. Some great names;

Chief Wiggum – pork belly, lettuce, tomato, red onion, hash brown, aioli and apricot seeded mustard.

Holier Than Thou – tempura tofu, spicy satay, coconut & coriander sauce, snow pea shoots & aioli.

Morning Glory – bacon, egg, hash brown, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish, Ferg’s tarragon mayonnaise.

Big Al – double serving of prime NZ beef (3/4lb), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish and a big wad of aioli. (This is the burger I ordered on my first visit to Ferg in 2009, I remember it was a beast, I didn’t order it this time as no one wants to see someone eating that, not even a wife)

I bloody love it. It is really good. I’m a fan, I’ve cued up for several, even made the wife cue up for a couple. I think she’s a fan too…

We last went while we were on honeymoon, twice, well everyone knows that a burger and chips is a classic romantic honeymoon meal out and then the next night feeling a bit peckish at 11.30pm after a solid drinking session it would have been rude not to go back.

We cued up for the seemingly compulsory 40mins and then waited 20mins for our order. But we did get a seat inside, we got to sit basically on the pass and watch them make the orders which was amazing!

We ordered the ‘Ferg Burger’. I didn’t take to many pictures, was far to busy eating…

I’ve done a jazzy drawing below to try and break down what the burger contains and combined with what I saw watching the pass I’m trying to work out what is so good about it.

Obviously they are using high quality NZ beef, I’m not sure what combination though. They have an in-house tomato relish thats super and a really banging garlic aioli. If you look at the drawing, the Ferg Burger is essentially a fairly basic thing with ingredients that you would find on most restaurant menus, I think the secret is a really great burger patty, garlic aioli and the tomato relish. They come together to help make something special. They season the patty raw with with cracked black pepper while it is on the grill, the idea is that as the patty cooks, the beef oil soaks in to cracked black pepper and saturates the patty in the peppers essence (or something like that).

Not sure how much that has helped… but I enjoyed drawing it and spending some time thinking about the burger… You get the idea though, its full of all sorts of goodness.

Honestly, it is a great burger, but I’ve had great burgers at other restaurants that I’ve been able to sit at a table and order and drink a beer while I am waiting for it (check out The Beefy Boys in Hereford, probably the best burger I have ever eaten in my life).

I do believe (as suggested by my wife) that half of what makes it so good is down the the anticipation and the scarcity of it (and probably that after deciding you are ready to eat and having to wait an hour and a half for your order you would probably be happy with almost anything)

Next time you are in Queenstown, go and do some adventure sports, go and bungee jump, jump out of a plane, go white water rafting, go up the skyline and do the luge (once is never enough, unless you hate cueing), go skiing and then go and get a Fergburger.

Maybe take some scroggin* or a wagon wheel with you for the cue.

Fergburger – link

The Beefy Boys – link

*a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, and other food eaten as a snack by hikers.

Nb, apologies for the lack of content in the last 2 months, I have been busy with work and other life events. But that is honestly no excuse, I will try harder to create more and more often in the future.

Alex